Thomas Rothschild

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Thomas Rothschild (born July 3, 1942 in Glasgow , Scotland ) is a British-Austrian author , journalist and literary scholar .


Born in Scotland in 1942 as the son of the emigrated Austrian economist Kurt Rothschild , Rothschild came to Vienna with his parents in 1947 . From 1960 to 1968 he studied Slavic and German at the University of Vienna and attended numerous courses in philosophy , psychology , English studies , theater studies , statistics , sociology , linguistics and science. After studying abroad at Lomonossow University in Moscow from 1962 to 1963 and at Charles University in Prague from 1966 to 1967, he received his doctorate in philosophy in Vienna in 1968 . From 1968 to 1971 Rothschild was an assistant at the Institute for Linguistics and then at the Institute for Literary Studies at the University of Stuttgart . His work focuses on Austrian literature, film and media studies as well as political song and literature of the 20th century.

In 1992 he received the Austrian State Prize for Literary Criticism, and in 1997 the Bruno Kreisky Prize for political books. In 1999 and 2000 a visiting professor at Tongji University in Shanghai followed .

Rothschild is married and lives near Stuttgart.

Non-university activities

  • Extensive journalistic work in newspapers, magazines and radio
  • Courses and lectures in adult education and for foreigners
  • Participation in the following project groups: City Festival URBS 71 (Wuppertal), Open Ohr Festival 1975 to 1979 (Mainz), Haste Töne - Musicians' Meeting (Recklinghausen)
  • Participation in various juries (including for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize , German Cabaret Prize , FIPRESCI, AG der Filmjournalisten, best songs list , German record award , ORF best list , Swiss film award )
  • Conception and organization of events and symposiums for the Graz Authors' Assembly on the following topics: The language of the Austrian daily press, literature and music, meddling or staying out, the writer and politics, the literature of reportage - reportage in literature, irrationalism, criticism of reason, anti-intellect - End of the investigation? Trends, structures, traditions and dangers, day of freedom of the word: "degenerate - pathological - decadent". On the survival of a concept, "Politics of feelings", On the topicality of Bertolt Brecht
  • Collaboration at the Tuscany Summer University: "Literature and Resistance" with Christian Geissler, Helga M. Novak and Peter Paul Zahl, "Principle Hopelessness" with Günter Kunert
  • 1994 to 2000 member of the culture committee of the city of Stuttgart
  • 1980 to 1990 and since 2001 member (1981 to 1989 and 2007 to 2009 board member, 1987 to 1989 and 2007 to 2009 vice-president) of the Graz Authors' Assembly; 1987 to 2014 member, 1992 to 1994 and 2008 to 2010 member of the advisory board of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Filmjournalisten (Association of German Film Critics); 1998 to 2017 member, 2011 to 2017 board member of the PEN Center Germany .


  • Song writer. 23 portraits . Frankfurt am Main 1980
  • The hacking of reality. Broadcast critical contributions from twelve years (MuK 84) . Wins 1993
  • Relax and Enjoy. Total infantilization . Vienna 1995 (2nd edition 1996)
  • The right to be different. Essays on Politics . Vienna 1995
  • Playful thoughts. Essays on literature, film and the media from two decades . Vienna 1996
  • Of one who went out to teach fear. Polemic against an exemplary career politician . Vienna 2001
  • Metropolises in transition. Shanghai - Santiago de Chile - New York - Budapest - Moscow . Vienna 2002
  • The great evil of the bourgeoisie. About the 68s, good manners and dress codes, also about social democracy, about Charles de Coster, Isaak Babel, Irmgard Keun, Frank Capra, Alain Tanner and Ken Loach as well as about rock music . Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-85371-217-7
  • All lie. The end of credibility . Vienna 2006
  • O righteousness. An essay on distributive justice, envy, vengeance, terror, compromise and social democracy . Vienna 2010
  • So far everything has gone well. Thanks and grumpy heckling . Vienna 2012

Editor of:

  • LiLi 14/1974 (Structural Literature and Linguistics)
  • Wolf Biermann. Songwriter and socialist . Reinbek 1976 (Danish translation: Wolf Biermann. Sanger og Socialist. København 1978)
  • Big and small times. Political poetry from the peasant wars to the present day . Frankfurt am Main 1981
  • Stories from the history of the Soviet Union . Frankfurt am Main 1990
  • Tell them that you are doing your right. A reader on Jewish history . Frankfurt am Main 1992
  • In the shadow of the rack railway. The Rampe Theater in Stuttgart 1998-2013 . Berlin 2013


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